This research group brings together diverse knowledge and skills existing at Iscte’s Business School: Accounting, Marketing, Operations, General Management and Strategy. With this grouping we aim at promoting the interdisciplinary nature of management which we deem essential for research endeavors. We are all familiar with the Indian parable of the blind men and the elephant, according to which the men try to guess what the elephant really is by touching different parts of the animal and suggesting different predictions. Likewise, management problems that organizations face need to be approached from different perspectives, but it is the synthesis of these perspectives brought together through discussion and information sharing from diverse disciplines that may produce the best solutions.
Organizations are open systems that exist within a larger system which is the environment. As the strength of systems resides in their weakest links, organizations need to be researched from holistic and not disparate viewpoints. One common concern is the assumption that all the activities undertaken by organizations have an impact on society, that resources are scarce and finite and therefore that such impact must be positive and a carrier of responsible sustainability.
The research conducted by this group is well aware that organizations have a social role and that they exist to satisfy the needs of different stakeholders. One of them, the environment, may not have the kind of voice we are used to, but yet it speaks louder and louder through climatic changes and disruptions. We need to listen to this voice and the research we conduct, no matter how different our fields may be, needs to contribute to the development of organizations in the scope of the two most important problems we face: the increasing inequality between those who “have” and those who “have not”; and the sustainability of our planet. At this crucial moment, research on organizations that disregards these lingering problems may be irrelevant at its best.